Thomas leads Virginia Tech past Bowling Green 37-0Virginia Tech tailback J.C. Coleman (4) scores a touchdown against Bowling Green defensive back Josh Pettus (22) during the first half of an NCAA college football game Saturday, Sept. 22, 2012, at Lane Stadium, in Blacksburg, Va. (AP Photo/Don Petersen)
BLACKSBURG, Va. (AP) -- Logan Thomas helped Virginia Tech find its running game and the defense showed up, too, as the Hokies bounced back from a humbling loss a week ago with a 37-0 victory against Bowling Green.
Thomas, who had been reluctant to run in the first three games, had key runs on three consecutive drives in the second quarter. Each ended with a touchdown as the Hokies (3-1) built a 21-0 lead.
The Falcons (1-3) managed just 71 yards in the first half, switched quarterbacks midway through the third quarter and turned the ball over on downs three times in Hokies territory in the second half.
Thomas threw scoring passes of 10 yards to J.C. Coleman and 42 yards to Dyrell Roberts and ran 1 yard for another score, all in the second quarter. Not counting a sack, Thomas ran for 45 yards in the half.
After managing just 96 rushing yards last week in a 35-17 loss at Pittsburgh, the Hokies seemed determined to get their ground game going, but then bumbled their way through the first three series. The third possession ended after Thomas fumbled the snap on a third-and-9 play, rolled right and sailed a pass well over the head of Marcus Davis, and the offense left the field to a chorus of boos.
Once the Hokies found a rhythm, however, the Falcons were no match. The team from the Mid-American Conference played Florida close into the third quarter at The Swamp but couldn't do it again.
The Hokies started clicking when they took over at their 20. Thomas ran for 14 yards on a draw and showed his frustration on a simple 3-yard run a short time later. A step from the sideline, he declined to step out and instead lowered his shoulder into defensive end Charlie Walker to gain an extra yard.
A 17-yard run by Tony Gregory, Thomas' 3-yard run on third-and-1 and a 10-yard pass to Roberts set up the touchdown. It came on Thomas' swing pass to Coleman, who dove for the left pylon.
Michael Holmes' 15-yard punt return set up the next drive, and it took just four plays. After Thomas' 5-yard run on third-and-1, he found Roberts behind a defender for a 42-yard TD pass to make it 14-0.
After the Falcons punted again, Thomas hit Davis for 13 yards on third-and-9 and Roberts for 11 yards on third-and-6 to the 16. Thomas' 15-yard run got it to the 1, and he dove in on the next play.
Holmes, replaced in the starting backfield by Gregory, scored from 2 yards in the third quarter after setting it up with a 40-yard burst, and Martin Scales scored on a 4-yard run with 9:22 remaining.
Gregory led the Hokies with 68 yards on 11 carries, and Thomas gained 65 on 15 tries.
The Falcons finished with 266 total yards.
On their best scoring chance in the first half, Stephen Stein missed a 43-yard field goal, the ball slamming into the right upright. It was the Falcons' fourth miss in five field goals tries this year.
After Matt Johnson replaced starting quarterback Matt Schilz - 9-for-25, 87 yards - in the third quarter, the Falcons failed to convert fourth-down plays from the Hokies' 15-, 28- and 18-yard lines.
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